Section 2: Responsibilities & Policies

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Environment, Health and Safety Responsibilities

All members of the College of Chemistry share responsibility for establishing and maintaining a safe working environment in the College. In order to facilitate adherence to environment, health and safety principles and practices, specific EH&S responsibilities have been established in accordance with the University of California, Berkeley document entitled "Responsibility for Environment, Health and Safety".

The complete written version of the "Responsibilities Document" can be viewed on the EH&S site.

The Dean's Responsibilities

As the Chief Executive Officer for the College of Chemistry, the Dean has ultimate authority over EH&S matters in the College. With assistance from faculty and staff administrators, the Dean will provide continued support for all College EH&S activities. The Dean's responsibility includes:

  • Ensuring that environmental, health and safety obligations are carried out in the College.
  • Communicating to faculty, staff, students and visitors that health and safety and a concern for the environment are top priorities on the Berkeley campus.
  • Ensuring that all College units are implementing required environment, health and safety programs that are applicable to College activities.

College Managers and Supervisors

College managers and supervisors have direct health and safety responsibilities for all activities under their control. Participation in the College's Injury & Illness Prevention Program is the most critical health & safety responsibility for all managers and supervisors (see Section 3). The following general responsibilities apply to any College activity under a manager's or supervisor's direct control:

  • Ensuring that environment, health and safety obligations are carried out by everyone working in their operations
  • Communicating to their employees, students and visitors that health and safety and environmental concern are top priorities of the College
  • Analyzing work procedures to identify hazards and ensuring hazard control measures are implemented
  • Ensuring safe operating procedures are in place and are observed
  • Ensuring employees have proper personal protective equipment when required
  • Encouraging prompt reporting of health and safety concerns or incidents without fear of reprisal
  • Curtailing or stopping work which poses an imminent danger to health and safety
  • Ensuring that self-assessment inspections are performed regularly
  • Ensuring that their employees receive appropriate safety training

College managers and supervisors also have responsibilities in participating and complying with a variety of environment, health and safety programs depending on the scope of work being done under their supervision. These include:

  • Injury and Illness Prevention Program (Section 3)
  • Hazardous Communication Program (Section 4)
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan for laboratory safety (Section 5)
  • Chemical Inventory (information in Section 7)
  • Hazardous Materials Disposal Programs (Section 6)
  • Emergency Response Plan (Section 10)
  • Air and wastewater quality programs (information in Sections 6,7)
  • Special hazards programs: Radiation Safety, Non-Ionizing Radiation, Laser Safety, Bloodborne Pathogens information in Section 7)

Principal Investigators

As managers and supervisors of research personnel and administrative staff, principal investigators have all the responsibilities of managers and supervisors as outlined above. However, principal investigators have the additional responsibility of acting as the Chemical Hygiene Officer for their laboratory operations. Chemical Hygiene Officers are responsible for ensuring safe laboratory activities and environments. Their specific responsibilities are further presented in Section 5 "The Chemical Hygiene Plan".

Non-Supervisory Staff, Students, Visitors and Guests

Every employee, student or other person authorized to conduct activities in the College is responsible for making an effort in maintaining a healthy and safe working and learning environment. Injury and illness prevention is a prime focus for all members of the College community. Responsibilities include:

  • Complying with applicable environment, health and safety laws and regulations, University and College policy and accepted safe work practices.
  • Observing environment, health and safety related signs, posters, warning signals and written directions.
  • Being familiar with the College and Campus Emergency response plan.
  • Learning about potential hazards associated with one's work; knowing where information on hazards is kept and using this information when needed.
  • Following safe operating procedures and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information when applicable.
  • Using personal protective equipment and engineering controls (e.g. fume hoods) as appropriate.
  • Curtailing or stopping work and notifying a supervisor or instructor immediately whenever a imminent danger is perceived
  • Reporting unsafe conditions to their supervisor or instructor.
  • Warning others about defective equipment or other hazards.
  • Participating in health and safety training.
  • Participating in inspection and monitoring programs whenever applicable.

College of Chemistry Environment, Health, Safety & Security program (CCEHSS)

The primary responsibility of the College of Chemistry Environment, Health, Safety & Security program is to assist College managers, supervisors and principal investigators in managing health and safety programs in their workplaces. CCEHSS, under the direction of Michael Kumpf, works closely with the UCB Office of Environment, Health & Safety in administering campus health and safety programs for the College of Chemistry. CCEHSS is also responsible for designing and implementing a variety of health and safety programs and services specifically for the College. Examples are: spent/unwanted chemical and contaminated lab debris pick-up, chemical reuse facility, safety training program tools, overseeing laboratory and facility self-inspections and numerous other responsibilities under the Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

UC Berkeley, Office of Environment, Health and Safety

The UC Berkeley, Office of Environment, Health and Safety, or "Campus EH&S" is responsible for tracking developments in environmental and health and safety laws and regulations and determining requirements that apply to the UC Berkeley campus. Requirements are met through development of programs by Campus EH&S and relevant faculty committees for implementation by campus departments as well as through direct services, consultation, and compliance assistance. Campus EH&S can be reached at 2-3073 or at the following website: www.ehs.berkeley.edu

UC Berkeley, Office of Radiation Safety

The UC Berkeley, Office of Radiation Safety (ORS) has overall responsibility of administering health and safety programs in the areas of radioactive materials, lasers and other non-ionizing radiation hazards. ORS can be reached at 3-8414.

UC Berkeley, Biosafety Program

The Biosafety Program provides services for the University of California, Berkeley faculty, staff, and students involved in the biological science and recombinant DNA research. Services provided include training, consultations, laboratory walkthroughs, and compliance assistance. EH&S Biosafety Staff and the Committee for Laboratory and Environmental Biosafety (CLEB) oversee the institutional review and approval of Biological Use Authorizations (BUA) CLEB Application Form.

Contact them at:

Phone: (510) 643-6562 or Phone: (510) 643-1397

E-mail: bso@berkeley.edu

College and Campus Health and Safety Policies

A variety of UC Berkeley campus and College of Chemistry health and safety policies have been established to facilitate the maintenance of a safe work place. Compliance with these policies is mandatory for all employees. Click on the links below to view the policies currently in effect:

College Injury and Illness Prevention Program

Under this policy, all employees of the College are required to participate in the College Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). The IIPP established the basic framework in which all health and safety related activities are implemented. Please refer to Section 3 in this manual.

Smoke Free Policy

Under this policy, UC Berkeley is tobbaco-free as of January 1, 2014. A tobbaco-free campus creates a healthier environment for students, faculty, and visitors; helps support tobacco users who are trying to quit; and reduces the number of new tobacco users by promoting the social norm of a tobacco-free environment. The full version of this policy can be viewed at "Tobacco-Free Berkeley".

College Non-Structural Seismic Bracing Policy

The Dean has established a policy requiring all furniture and equipment that represents a seismic hazard to be braced to a secure structure. Individuals must consult with CCHASP or the College Shops to ensure that seismic bracing is done correctly.

Safety Glasses in Laboratories and Shops

Safety glasses are to be worn in all College laboratories and posted areas of the shops at all times by all employees. Safety glasses and other protective eyewear must meet the ANSI Z87.1989 design standard. Visitors to these areas must also wear safety glasses.

Lab Coats in Laboratories

Lab coats are to be worn by all researchers when working with or handling any hazardous chemical in any Campus laboratory.

Working Alone in College Facilities

Working alone in laboratories and shops is strongly discouraged and should be avoided, especially after hours. The "Buddy System" shall be employed. In situations where the Buddy System is not feasible, researchers and coworkers must inform each other of their whereabouts.

Visitors in Laboratories and Facilities

The safety of visitors in the College are the responsibility of the person hosting the visitor. Personal protective equipment, including safety glasses, must be worn as necessary by visitors to protect them from hazards in our laboratories and work places.

Berkeley Campus Hazardous Waste Management Policy

This policy states that all hazardous waste generated on campus shall be handled safely and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. Under this policy management and employees are responsible for observing hazardous waste management procedures, using prescribed personal protective equipment and promptly reporting accidents or conditions that could result in improper disposal of hazardous materials and waste. Campus EH&S is responsible for overseeing the hazardous waste management program and ensuring that materials are disposed of in accordance with all applicable regulations. The full version of this policy can be found on the UCB EH&S website directory; http://www.ehs.berkeley.edu/ehs-publications#D

Drain Disposal Policy

This policy concerns the use of drains from all campus operations and regulates the drain disposal of hazardous materials. Guidelines have been established that answer questions about which materials are allowed to be drain disposed. All researchers who generate liquid or solid waste must consult these guidelines before discharging any laboratory material to the drain.  Download the guideline from section 7 of the ccehss website or on the UCB EH&S website directory; http://www.ehs.berkeley.edu/ehs-publications#D. 

Hazardous Waste Minimization Policy

The objective of this policy is to protect human health and to reduce the cost of hazardous waste disposal. The policy states that hazardous waste generation should be prevented or reduced at the source and applies to the generation of chemical, low level radioactive and "medical" hazardous wastes. The full version of "Minimizing Hazardous Waste" can be viewed on the UCB EH&S website directory; http://www.ehs.berkeley.edu/whs-publications#D.

Transportation of Chemicals

All chemicals shall be transported in a safe manner to prevent hazardous spills from occurring. Chemical bottle carriers must be used when chemicals are being transported in the corridors of the College, as well as any other places on campus.

Additional information on "Transporting Chemicals Safely on Campus" can be found on the UCB EH&S website directory: http://www.ehs.berkeley.edu/whs_publications#D.